The sky city is an urban engineering concept that essentially consists of building a single super structure that could literally house an entire city. Homes, workplaces, stores, schools, and recreation areas would all be in the same colossal building. The idea is seen as a way of dealing with population density issues in various places in the world, and has been floating around East Asia since 1989. Last year, a construction company called Broad Sustainable Building announced that they were building the first sky city in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.
The project was dubbed, unsurprisingly, Sky City One (天空城市; pinyin: tiānkōng chéngshì), and its aim is not only to be the first sky city, but also, at the request of Changsha officials, the tallest building in the world. Proposed to rise to 2,749 feet, it would be 27 feet higher than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.
When completed, Sky City One should be able to house 100,000 residents and myriad businesses and offices within its 220 stories. The project has been sold as an environment friendly response to China’s increased urbanization, traffic, population, and pollution crises. The plan is to have this behemoth “car free city” to be equipped with all the latest eco-friendly and energy efficient architectural accessories and strategies.
On top of this already ground breaking proposal, the construction firm claims that they will build it in just 90 days. For reference, it took over five years to build the Burj Khalifa.
So far, Broad has built 16 structures in China, plus another in Cancun. They are fabricated in sections at two factories in Hunan, roughly an hour’s drive from Broad Town. From there the modules—complete with preinstalled ducts and plumbing for electricity, water, and other infrastructure—are shipped to the site and assembled like Legos. The company is in the process of franchising this technology to partners in India, Brazil, and Russia. What it’s selling is the world’s first standardized skyscraper, and with it, Zhang aims to turn Broad into the McDonald’s of the sustainable building industry.
From Arch Daily:
Skeptical? BSB isn’t. They’ve used their building technique (which involves pre-fabricating and assembling up to 95% of the materials in modular form before construction even begins) to assemble a 15-story building in 6 days and a 30-story hotel in 360 hours, CNN reports. As for safety concerns, BSB has built a 30-story prototype that withstood a simulated magnitude 9 earthquake — whether the 220-story Sky City will be as secure remains to be seen, but BSB certainly seems confident.
From Cnet News:
Over the last few days, rumors swirling in the Chinese media said that construction on the super tower could actually take up to 210 days, but Broad Group executives denied the claim. The developer insists Sky City remains on track for the 90-day goal and noted that foundation work should start at the end of this month after the Chinese government approves the project.
In late December this approval was granted, and construction was set to begin this month. But, according to a reader name Hans, who works near the site of this proposed landmark, nothing is stirring.
Sorry to bring this to you Wade, but construction on the Sky one skyscraper has still not started. I work close to the building site, and there’s no sign of it yet.
For sure, Broad Construction Group talked a big game while promoting this project, but they don’t seem to be saying too much lately. At my request for an interview, a PR rep said:
Sorry the project is still under review and evaluation, we do not accept interview at this moment. Thank you for your interest, I will reach you once we get any updated news.
Is there any chance that the Sky City 1 project may be cancelled?
I have yet to receive a response.
I have no evidence to make this up but I have to wonder if we’re looking at another X-Seed 4000:
The X-Seed 4000 “is never meant to be built,” says Georges Binder, managing director of Buildings & Data, a firm which compiles data banks on buildings worldwide. “The purpose of the plan was to earn some recognition for the firm, and it worked.”
Lauren Hilgers at Wired also expressed some skepticism: “It’s hard to say for sure that the 16-million-square-foot plan isn’t entirely a publicity stunt.”
What’s your take? Would you want to live in a “sky city?”